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September 13, 2019

MEGservationsGood for Everyone: Pro Bono and Veggies Go Mainstream

By Margaret Benson | Executive Director, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

Pro bono is like veganism. Although it’s good for you and benefits society, people have been skeptical. But now both practices are popular enough that even people who don’t do them claim they do.

It wasn’t always that way. Back in the stone ages of the legal profession, before email, business processes and data analytics, many law firms didn’t have much interest in providing direct legal services to low-income clients. While some handled pro bono law reform cases through organizations like the ACLU and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, most firms didn’t think their attorneys should handle direct legal services for poor people.

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September 11, 2019

Pro Bono Network

Want to do pro bono work and looking for training, support, backup, flexibility, camaraderie, and malpractice insurance? Then Pro Bono Network is for you! Come to the Pro Bono Network’s fall training sessions to learn how PBN can help you provide legal services to seniors, veterans, survivors of violence, people with disabilities, and families in […]

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September 10, 2019

CBF Mourns the Death of Marca Bristo, Disability Rights Leader and Founder of Access Living

We were saddened to learn that Marca Bristo, who founded Access Living in 1980, passed away on September 8, 2019. For nearly four decades under her leadership, Marca built the organization into a leading disability rights and service organization. She was a warrior and a trailblazer. A fearless advocate, Marca fought for […]

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August 19, 2019

Voluntary Bar Associations and Adapting to a Changing World

Bob Glaves is my friend and mentor. So, while skeptical, I grant him the benefit of the doubt when he tells me that the Bobservations readership numbers millions, spanning continents. “Huge and fabulous and, many people are saying, the best ever,” Bob observes of Bobservations.

In any event Bob’s taking a well-deserved break. He’s asked me to contribute a post. Presently, I believe Bob is traipsing about the Wisconsin woodlands. I hope he’s relaxed of mind and surely not reliving the double-doink, ad nauseam.

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August 1, 2019

JEPJustice Entrepreneurs Project Accepting Applications

Are you a newer lawyer interested in obtaining the skills and resources necessary to build an innovative and successful law practice? Are you interested in making a positive impact on your community as a social entrepreneur? If yes, consider applying to the Justice Entrepreneurs Project!

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July 30, 2019

What’s Your Story?

When someone asks us what we do as lawyers and legal professionals, what story do we tell them? Do we frame the answer in the loftier ideals of our profession and the good we do in the world, or in the day-to-day grind that the practice of law sometimes can feel like?

That question was the driving force behind the selection of this year’s theme song at the CBA and CBF’s 21st Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon last week, The Story by Brandi Carlile.

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July 30, 2019

CBF Welcomes New Board President and Members

The CBF is excited to welcome Steven A. Weiss as our 38th Board President for the 2019-2020 term. A Partner and Co-Leader of the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group at Honigman LLP, Steve provides advice on a wide variety of business litigation issues for companies and business people.

Steve has a strong commitment to […]

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July 30, 2019

Congrats and Thanks to Justice Mason!

There was a significant milestone in our legal community last week: Justice Mary Anne Mason retired from the bench after a stellar 19-year career as a Judge, first in the Circuit Court of Cook County and since 2013 on the Illinois Appellate Court.

The Appellate Lawyers Association was among many paying tribute to Justice Mason’s […]

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July 23, 2019

2019 Pro Bono & Public Service Award RecipientsHonoring Careers of Dedication and Service

Seven attorneys recognized for outstanding work at the CBA and CBF Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon

Seven unsung heroes in the legal profession were recognized and celebrated for their extraordinary service to our community at The Chicago Bar Association and The Chicago Bar Foundation’s 21st Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon on July 23, 2019.

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June 26, 2019

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Jim Harbaugh came through town last week, but not on a recruiting trip for Michigan. He was here in his role as a member of the Leaders Council for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), where he joined in a fitting tribute to LSC’s board chair and long-time champion for the cause, John Levi.

In the course of his heartfelt toast to Levi, Coach Harbaugh used a football analogy to illustrate what it means when someone has to fend for themselves in a contested court case: it is like a game where one team has to play without helmets and pads. You don’t have to stretch your imagination to recognize that team would get routed and end up with some serious injuries.

I thought this was a great analogy that most everyday Americans can connect to and understand, and it also offers an interesting framework for tackling the broader barriers to equal access to justice.

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